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Original post made by Walter_E_Wallis, Midtown, on Dec 31, 2007

Engineering News Record

Private firm to handle public works
December 24, 2007
Donna Harris


Dec. 24--MOSS POINT -- A contract with Utility Partners goes into effect in Moss Point on Jan. 1.

The private company will be replacing the current public works department within the city. It also will be contracted to manage the water treatment facility when it is completed.

"We've felt for some time the city hasn't been delivering the level of service in public works the citizens are entitled to," Mayor Xavier Bishop said. "We've struggled in that area for a variety of reasons. We felt an obligation to turn to whatever source available to correct the problem."

Bishop, who broke the Board of Aldermen's 3-3 tie Tuesday, called Utility Partners "a proven organization that has shown they can effectively manage a public works department."

The company already manages public works for Pascagoula.

Aneice Liddell, James Smith and Michael "Shorty" Middleton voted against the contract, while George Martin Jr., Tommy Hightower and Charles Molden voted in favor. Nancy Mims Norvel was absent for the vote.

Bishop said employees currently in the public works department with less than 17 years of service will "go on board" with Utility Partners after an application process. Those with more than 17 years will continue to be employed by the city and will be "loaned" to the company when needed.

Bishop said customers should see "improved response times, improved customer service, improved quality of work" with their water, sewer and gas services and with ground maintenance in the city.

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